What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

So in this video on Cottage Food Laws, the brand new YouTube channel launched to help all cottage food operators understand the laws and show you how to market, promote, and grow your food business from home. We are going to cover what you can and cannot sell, specifically food products, right now. All right, so welcome back to Cottage Foods Laws. This is a brand new YouTube channel that we launched. We are not new to YouTube. We actually have several food entrepreneur channels. We'll have those links down below and as well, I'm going to cover specifically in this video, what foods can you and can you not produce in Georgia under the cottage food laws. We'll have a link directly to the Georgia state website where you can actually do a little more investigation and research for yourself. Definitely take a look at that because cottage food laws do change periodically. So, if you don't know who I am, my name's Damian Roberti. I'm a food entrepreneur. My wife and I have been doing our own business, our own thing, if you will, for the past 13 years. We have multiple e-commerce food businesses.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

We have stores on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and everywhere else in between. And of course, we started our YouTube channel from the experience that we've gained. All of the people that we've met over the years and food entrepreneurs who are friends of ours, we bring together a culmination of all that information to help you understand how to get started in the food industry. So, what foods can you, and can you not make in Georgia? That's a great question. Now, based upon the Georgia website, they actually don't have a specific list of foods that you cannot make, but I'm going to go through the foods that you can and then give you an idea of the types of foods that normally throughout each state are really not allowed to be made at home just due to, of course, the type of pH levels that they might be at and the processes to make those particular products. So, let's get started. So there are loaves, breads, rolls, and biscuits. So any type of bread product, roll, or biscuit, as long as it doesn't have what's known as a potentially hazardous ingredient, Damian, what exactly does that mean? So any type of product, let's say a cheese Danish, there's a good example.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

 

A Cheese Danish, of course, is a baked good item. But on the top, it's got a cheese in the center of it. It has to be kept at a certain temperature or be a time-sensitive product. So anything that's time or temperature sensitive, those would be considered potentially hazardous. That also means the fact that there could be bacteria that could grow in the cheese if it's not kept at a certain temperature. If it's not eaten and enjoyed within a certain timeframe, within just a couple of days of making it, you have to refrigerate it or you have to freeze it. So these are products that, if left out alone, can become potentially hazardous if they are actually eaten or consumed. So do breads, loaves, biscuits, and rolls. Those are obviously things you can make, but to be honest, they have to be consumed fairly quickly. Cakes. except for those that require refrigeration. So, if you want to start a cake business from home, you can do that, but you need to make sure that the frosting, icing, or any of the ingredients inside can't be refrigerated, okay? By the way, when you apply for their application process, you have to actually list the products that you intend to sell because on that actual permit or license that they're going to give you to sell, all of those products will be listed.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

Those are the eligible items that you're going to be able to actually sell in the state of Georgia under their cottage food laws. Next up, pastries and cookies. So, cookies and pastries, there's literally an infinite number of these. Different types of cookies that are definitely, of course, cookies are literally limitless. Why are cookies so popular? Number one, they're very inexpensive to make; super easy to make; super easy to package; but they can create them and they come in a multitude of different flavors; different toppings; different ingredients. It's just endless. So they're very inexpensive and have a very large margin. You can make a huge profit on them as well. Candies, confections, and fruit pies. Of course, candies and confections are again, another type of product that's not limited at all. There are hundreds and hundreds of variations of candies that you can make. It doesn't specify if you can't make lollipops or if you can't make hard rock candy or even brittle, it just says candies and confections. Brittles will probably fall in line with that. You can make literally hundreds of different variations of brittle as well. Next up, you've got jams, jellies, and preserves. But fruit butters, you can't necessarily do fruit butters.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

That's something that they say that you cannot make as well. Jams, jellies, and preserves are highly popular products. can be sold almost anywhere that you go. But of course, that has to be listed. Remember, when you apply for this, you have to put that on the application. Dry herbs, seasonings, and mixtures. This is one of the big ones that we always talk about on Marketing Food Online, which is my other YouTube channel. We have almost 100,000 subscribers. You definitely want to check out that link down below. But on that channel, we have a ton of videos about spice businesses. When you buy them in bulk, you create small batches, or if you have a specific type of mix that you have and you want to start selling it locally, get some feedback, and then from there, transition from a cottage food home-based business to a commercial kitchen. Start selling it online or get on Amazon or start selling a food product on Amazon. These are really popular items. Seasoning mixes, dry herbs. It's unbelievable; the market is gigantic for those. In Georgia, you can actually do that from home. trail mixes, granolas, and cereals. Now, of course, cereals I've actually never dabbled in creating a cereal, but trail mixes we actually do in our commercial kitchen. a hugely popular online seller Of course, when you're at home and don't know the cottage food law, you have to sell them locally, but again, it's a great way to test a product and get some proof of concept before you jump into something bigger. coated and uncoated nuts.

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

This is huge. roasted nuts, seasoned nuts, or roasted dry nuts Any type of nut variation you can definitely create through Georgia's cottage food law. One of the most profitable products next to cookies on my list would actually be nuts because you can get them in bulk online. And again, if you want to check down below, when you go over to that blog post I mentioned about the links to the Georgia state website, I will have a couple links for suppliers where you can get some of these products like nuts in bulk and such. Check out that link for sure. Head over to our website and take a look at that list. vinegars, flavored vinegars, and popcorn, cotton candy, and popcorn balls. Popcorn and cotton candy are the number one sellers at any farmer's market, festival or fair. Every child, every adult, loves popcorn, popcorn balls, or even cotton candy. It is a very minimal amount of investment, even for any of these products. If you even get a popcorn popper, you can invest anywhere from three to 0 and have a business up and running that you can sell locally at farmer's markets, festivals, and such. cotton candy as well. That's an item that's super inexpensive to make. That's probably on my list. If it had to be in the top three, that would be number three. Cotton candy costs literally pennies to make. And people charge at some places up to five to six per serving, which is astronomical. If you sell 100 units of those in a day at a farmer's market, you can clear $500 like that. So in this list of Georgia cottage foods, those are the ones that you can make. There are endless supplies. If you let your creativity go wild, you can create so many variations of these food products. Let's dive into what you can't make. Now, with this in mind, you have to keep in mind that the items that you can't make are specifically set up for a purpose, okay? And the reason is that most people think that cottage food laws, where you can create food from home, actually allow you to create things like pizza or sandwiches or any type of item like that. Hamburgers, fries, fast-food stuff, stuff you find on a food truck. The reason being is that a lot of people don't go through the training necessary to understand how to prepare those food products.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

So under cottage food laws, they limit it by the state as to what you can prepare because of the safety issues. A lot of people may get excited about the idea of creating some food products. Maybe they prepare food or they cook dinners and lunches for their family. That's fine. But if you don't have proper training on how to store ingredients and how to store cooked foods, If you've already prepared it, you have to keep it at a certain temperature or refrigerate it. They don't understand fully how that works, and a lot of people can get sick. So some of the items that you can't make, and this is pretty generalized across a lot of states when it comes to cottage food, is meat jerky. For instance, creating your own beef jerky or chicken jerky at home, there's a process for that. And of course, that's with raw meat. If you don't do it properly, people can get sick. Bacteria can develop in the product. You may not even know it and you put it in a bag and someone eats it and they get very ill. So things like that, salsas, barbecues, and ketchup, These are items that have acidity levels. And if those acidic levels don't reach a certain pH ratio, then those are things that can cause bacteria. Again, people can get sick from it.

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

 

So it's things like salsa, canned or pickled products. Pickled products in general are banned in almost every state. There's actually a couple that you can do that in, but when you do it in those states, you actually have to submit the recipes to the local department of agriculture and that has to get approved. There's a huge process involved with that. So when it comes to baked goods, it says, "Yes, you can definitely do that." But things like custards, meringues, pies, again, back to those ingredients that have to be refrigerated or they have to be kept at a certain temperature or they have to be eaten and consumed at a certain period of time. Anything with fish, anything with meat, steaks, chicken, or raw eggs, any of that sort. Now, if you're baking something and some of your ingredients are milk, eggs, and so on, that's okay. Because you're obviously mixing that into an overall ingredient that's going to be baked and cooked. Like a cookie, a pie, a bunt cake, whatever it may be. But just keep in mind that a lot of times they may have items that can't be cooked in and of themselves, but as ingredients they certainly can be, okay? Also included are syrups, dried meats, and meat products. Or anything like vegetables or juices. fresh juices or fresh fruit juices. Those are also things that could be potentially bacterial because of the fact that once you make it, it has to be consumed very quickly unless you process it. But of course, if you're processing it, then you're obviously in a commercial kitchen, and you're not under cottage food law. So, a couple of things to keep in mind, though. These are the items that you can and cannot make as cottage foods.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

The other thing you want to think about really quickly is that side note. Every state has cottage food laws set up. Those laws do not protect you as a food producer or food producer. even though you're making products at home and you're selling them locally. If someone were to get sick, they have the potential to be legally responsible for that. I highly recommend you look into some of those links down below where you need to create an LLC. This is a limited liability company. This allows you to have some legal separation between your personal life and your business. And if anybody gets sick, they can only go after the business, not you personally. Your cottage food laws do not protect you from that, and neither does your homeowner's insurance policy, just so you know. Most of these issues will pop up once in a while under cottage food laws. And if you don't have legal protection, you can run the risk of getting really sued and getting into a lot of trouble. So check out having that and even food business insurance policies. Believe it or not, there are actually insurance companies online who can create a policy for cottage food laws and you definitely need to check that out. All right, so I'll wrap it up. If you have any questions about Georgia's cottage food laws, the dos and the don'ts, and what you can and cannot make under cottage food, let me know down below. And definitely tell your friends, if anybody is starting a food business, we'd love to support our brand new channel here at Cottage Foods Laws. And of course, check out our links to our other YouTube channels, and I'll see you on our next.

 

What foods can and cannot be sold as "cottage foods" in Georgia?

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